Maradona talks to El Comandante.
(He could have gotten a little dressed up for the occasion.)

24 hours ago, I didn’t know who Diego Maradona was.

But after Matador editor David Miller shot over an e-mail about “Maradona,” the just-released documentary by Serbian director Emir Kusturica, I fell head-over-heels for the soccer star turned political activist.

It’s not because he’s handsome. The guy’s worn down by some wild drug and alcohol abuse.

It’s not because he’s remembered as the soccer star who scored the “Goal of the Century.” I could care less about sports.

It’s because Maradona is a big-time traveler, using his celebrity to gain audiences with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and to speak out against imperialism. And I’m always a sucker for people who realize how important it is to get out into the world and see things with their own eyes.

For some great blogs from Matador members who’ve gone into the world to check things out for themselves, click over to durban.swartz’s entry from Venezuela, YoLeven’s dispatch from Afghanistan, and ross’s entry about a cocaine cowboy in Colombia. Also, if you missed it the first, time, check out 7 Reasons to Travel to Iran NOW, written by Jason Rezaian and accompanied by some gorgeous photos by Matador member Horizon.

Photo: cardiffteam (creative commons)